The best oud cologne for men harken back to a time when fragrances were made to last forever, and develop into complex and pleasing variations as you wore them. But are there any of today’s colognes that can match the original formulations? We think so.
In this guide, we’ll be introducing you to five oud colognes that are filled with the dense, resinous, musky, and unforgettable scent of oud. Follow along as we explore more about this fascinating aromatic ingredient, and we’ll explore and explain the differences between our five favorite colognes that feature oud as a major component of their recipe.
5 Best Oud Cologne For Men 2021
Oud is a rare ingredient that is in short supply, so relatively few fragrance makers use it as a major part of a composition. The following five bottlings each show the rare tree resin off at its fullest potential.
Tom Ford’s Oud Wood is the first fragrance of his Private Blend selection, which includes twelve fragrances that can be used in combination with each other. Debuted in 2007, it’s an oriental woody style cologne with a generous portion of oud that is further emphasized by other resinous aromatics. If we could only choose one fragrance as the best oud cologne for men, this would be the one.
Spicy cardamom and szechuan peppercorns make for an exotic and enticing introduction to the oud heart of Tom Ford Oud Wood, where a significant portion of this slightly fruity and exotic wood resin is paired with vetiver and vanilla. The effect is one of tremendous balance, creating an aroma that can’t be achieved through other combinations. Furthermore, the base of sandalwood, amber, rosewood, and tonka bean serves to accentuate the oud throughout the entire duration of wear.
Long lasting with a moderate intensity, Tom Ford Oud Wood is perhaps the most friendly and true to classic style introduction to the world of oud colognes. We would love to wear it any time of year, and happily choose to layer it with other colognes to bring oud’s inimitable fragrance into the mix.
Top notes of cardamom and szechuan peppercorns
Middle notes of vetiver, Oud, and vanilla
Base notes of sandalwood, amber, Brazilian rosewood, and tonka bean
An oriental woody style scent that was launched in 2012, Amouage Interlude is paired with the Interlude Woman perfume. Its creator has this to say about the cologne: “I interpret what I see and feel into scents. All the social and natural chaos and disorder surrounding us today can be translated to a much more intimate level. The interlude moment is a reflection of all the trials and tribulations one overcomes to attain personal satisfaction and achievement.”
All of Amouage’s fragrances are made in a traditional Arabian style, and exhibit tremendous intensity thanks to the inclusion of large quantities of each ingredient. Oregano, black pepper, and bergamot make for a welcome introduction to a heart of burning incense alongside resinous amber, opoponax, and labdanum — but it’s in the tremendously deep base of oud, leather, sandalwood, and patchouli that Interlude truly shines.
Interlude is both one of the longest lasting colognes that we’ve ever come across, as well as one of the most intense. It creates a scent bubble around you that can be overwhelming if applied to heavily, or absolutely perfect if applied with caution before heading out to a date or a party.
Top notes of oregano, black pepper, and bergamot
Middle notes of incense, opoponax, amber, and labdanum
Base notes of leather, Oud, sandalwood, and patchouli
With the success of their first Private Blend offerings, is it any surprise that Tom Ford’s Tobacco Oud would make this list as well? A unisex take on a woody spicy cologne, it leans towards the masculine side while incorporating traditionally feminine touches such as a heavy presence of vanilla overtones. Is it the best Tom Ford oud cologne? We’ll let you make that call.
Tobacco Oud’s top notes are uncommon in the world of perfuming: They’re all based around a fine malt whiskey, with its hints of honey and heather and smoke. This gives way over time to a heart of baking spices, cinnamon, and coriander, though these are not the primary scents you’ll detect — that’s left to the rich and dense base notes. Oud is, of course, the primary base note, but it shares the center stage with tobacco and is supported by a bevy of exotic woods, patchouli, and vanilla.
Long lasting with a moderate to strong intensity, Tom Ford’s Tobacco Oud seems like the perfect choice for a fall and winter cologne thanks to its heavy presence of spicy and rich aromatics. We also love it for date nights, as its complexity can be quite inviting. As far as oud fragrances go, we think it’s the best affordable oud cologne — but you’ll still pay quite a hefty price for a bottle.
Top notes of malt whiskey
Middle notes of baking spices, cinnamon, and coriander
Base notes of tobacco, Oud, sandalwood, patchouli, incense, benzoin, cedar, and vanilla
An oriental woody fragrance in a unisex style, Oud Satin Mood was released by MFK in 2015. It’s an incredibly intense composition on par with the density of Amouage’s colognes, but made in a more European rather than Arabian style.
Two types of roses share equal space in Oud Satin Mood’s top notes: The spicier Bulgarian rose, and the more floral Turkish rose. These are present throughout the entire duration of wear, and supported lovingly by benzoin and violet heart notes. And in the base? No surprise — a heaping helping of oud, alongside the ever-versatile vanilla bean.
A single application of Oud Satin Mood is likely to last longer than a day on most peoples’ skin, and its intensity starts off strong and moves slowly to a more resinous and less powerful dry down. If you’re looking for a more gender-neutral fragrance, it’s a fantastic choice that’s still heavy on the lovely aromatic qualities of oud.
Made in the uncommon woody chypre style, Byredo’s Oud Immortel is a unisex fragrance that was released in 2010. Of the oud colognes featured here, it feels the most similar to classically masculine colognes of the 40s and 50s, with strong woody tones and a citrus spiciness that’s very appealing.
Limoncello, the Italian liqueur made from macerated lemons and sugar, is on full display in Oud Immortel’s top notes, with accents of burning incense and spicy cardamom. The heart of this fragrance is its most striking component, featuring a heavy portion of oud alongside patchouli and rosewood. Anchored by oakmoss and tobacco, it’s an intriguing chameleon of a fragrance that seems to smell different on each individual’s skin.
Incredibly long lasting, with a strong projection, Oud Immortel is a wonderful choice for year-round wear. It’s a mature and classic fragrance that isn’t overwhelming in spite of its strong projection, and a favorite of guys who want to make a subtle but insistent statement.
Top notes of limoncello, incense, and cardamom
Middle notes of Oud, patchouli, papyrus, and Brazilian rosewood
Also known as agarwood, aloeswood, or eaglewood, oud is a complex and fascinating ingredient that has been a favorite of cologne compositions since its discovery in ancient times.
Oddly, it is both heavily scented and extremely rare because of how it is formed: When a certain mold begins to grow in the heart of a certain species of aloe tree, the tree produces a strong and darkly colored resin to protect itself. Once the tree is harvested, this resin-soaked heartwood is what becomes known as “oud”.
Oud is one of the most singular aromatic constituents in the world, with no known natural or chemical analogues. It is said to have an exotic and oriental woody smell, as well as soft fruity and floral notes, as well as a definite resinous quality.
What Does Arabian Oud Smell Like?
Arabian Oud is a brand name for a line of perfumes, colognes, and solid products based in the use of oud — you can check out their website here. They have an exceptionally large catalog of colognes, perfumes, and exotic incenses, each based around one aspect of the complex scent of oud.
Aside from the inclusion of oud in their compositions, however, the range of aromatics in Arabian Oud fragrances is quite large. The best Arabian oud colognes are every bit as complex as those we’ve chosen above, featuring a heavy use of oud as well as fresh and zesty citrus or floral top notes, all accentuated by exotic woods, vanilla, and patchouli.
Why Is Oud So Expensive?
Oud, and oud fragrances by extension, are some of the most expensive bottlings that the fragrance world has to offer. Why? There are two main reasons:
First, the formation of oud is a natural process that cannot be directly controlled, only encouraged. This means that there is no way to manufacture industrial quantities of oud, thereby driving up the price since supply never meets demand.
Second, there was a time in recent history where the aloe wood species responsible for growing oud resin were nearly harvested to extinction, without appropriate replanting efforts. So while trees that could grow oud were once abundant, they are now scarce — once again leading to a demand that is much higher than the supply.
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